Clover Market returns to Kennett Square
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
To Clover Market founder Janet Long, the Sunday afternoon rainstorm that fell on the open-air festival in Kennett Square still showed a silver lining through the clouds.
As Long huddled against the showers, she looked out at a small village of vendor tents filled with pottery makers, jewelry makers, clothing designers and woodworkers and saw the festival as a giant incubator of potential.
“From my perspective, to see a Clover Market vendor graduate from having a booth to having a brick and mortar is a great end result,” said Long, who began the Clover Market in 2010. “For many, they start here. They tighten their concept. They find their audience. They build up their mailing list. They learn what works and doesn't work, and then they begin to put a stake in the ground and get their shop up and running. That's a great success story. We're happy to see them grow those wings and be on their way.”
This year's Clover Market, which returned to the Genesis Healthcare parking lot for the second consecutive year, featured 90 vendors, including several food trucks and representatives from Philter Coffee, the Philadelphia Lemonade Company, Victory Brewing Company and Harvest Ridge Winery.
Many vendors arrived at the lot as early as 7:30 a.m. to set up their booths and their wares, and by the time the event opened at 10 a.m., hundreds of shoppers began to pour in, and continued to do so well past noon and into the afternoon.
The rain that had been forecast for Sunday held off until 2 p.m., and despite a continuous downpour that lasted until 3:30, visitors continued to arrive. Claire Murray of Historic Kennett Square said that she saw a lot of new faces among the shoppers.
“It's a strong indication that the Clover Market is attracting a whole new crowd of shoppers to Kennett Square, who hopefully will also enjoy our offerings downtown,” she said. “It's a great crossover, because many of our newer shop owners were originally vendors at Clover Market, such as Salt & Stone, Marche and Clean Slate. It's all part of an exciting buzz that surrounds the coming of an event like this.”
The initial spark that joined the Clover Market with Kennett Square rose partly from conversations, and partly from the success that the town has had with other large public events. Tara Dugan, the founder of worKS, a 3,000-square-foot retail store on South Walnut Street, began discussing the possibility of Clover Market including Kennett Square on its yearly calendar with Mary Hutchins and Murray of Historic Kennett Square.
“We had a few conversations about whether or not the town and Historic Kennett Square would be able to support the Clover Market here,” Long said. “The answer in each case was an enthusiastic 'Yes.'
“Kennett Square has been building a strong reputation for a long time now as a place that supports really interesting, entrepreneurial businesses and artists, as well as having demonstrated the ability to host great public events. The Kennett Brew Fest is about to go into its 21st year. There's First Fridays, the Farmers Market, the Mushroom Festival and so many other events. It's proven itself to be a place where a lot of fun stuff happens, and it's all being supported by the community, so we knew that an event like this could very easily be a success in this town.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.